Walter graduated from St. Charles Preparatory School and has a BA from Ohio University. After a brief and unhappy stint as an engineer, Walter attended Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA.
In 1971 he purchased Cardinal Foods, a small Ohio food wholesaler, in a leveraged buyout. In 1979, the company acquired Bailey Drug Company and began wholesaling drugs. In subsequent years, the company experienced extraordinary growth, "one of a handful of large U.S. companies that had achieved earnings-per-share growth in excess of 20 percent for 15 years straight." Cardinal Health is now a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals, health & beauty products, and hospital supplies in the United States. In 2007, he was #14 on Fortune magazine's list of the 25 top-paid male executives, with total compensation of $42.7 million the previous year. He retired from Cardinal Health on June 20, 2009.
He is married to Margaret "Peggy" Walter, who also attended Ohio University. The Walters have given support to the Ohio University community including Margaret Walter Hall, and to the Columbus Museum of Art. Walter resides in Dublin, Ohio; Boca Raton, Florida; and Park City, Utah.
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